Employee mental health is a major issue as the world finds itself amidst the global pandemic that has shriveled socio-economic activities. There is an upsurge in the trends of mental health issues. While companies are adjusting to the ongoing scenario, they have an important concern that demands planning, which is the mental health of their employees.
Workplaces in the urban areas are facing never-ending hindrances towards their functioning and innovation. The switch from onsite to remote work has affected the performance of several employees. Also, there has been a consistent increase in the number of sick employees. A Web application company in Pennsylvania shows high statistical trends in the number of employees facing serious challenges due to mental health within the state.
Technology is unquestionably a two-edged sword. It has a remarkable potential to connect us and permit synchronous work, allowing us to be more flexible. The drawback of this connection, though, is that the concept of “leaving the workplace behind” has vanished entirely. According to a study by the American Consensus Bureau, 42% of the population reported having anxiety and depression.
The types of Psychological Experiences that a Workplace Offers
Employment delivers five types of psychological experiences that are beneficial to mental health which include:
- social interaction which involves interaction with fellow workers.
- communal effort and purpose (work provides a social context outside of the family).
- social identity as employment polishes the confidence to move within a society.
- regular activity (managing one’s daily life) this involves regular chores as a part of the job.
Mental Health Changes During the Pandemic
Mental health issues have a direct influence on missed contributions to economies of almost $390 billion per year, making youngsters more likely to become jobless during and after economic crises. The COVID-19 impact indicators included, among other things, the combined effects of the virus’s transmission, lock downs, stay-at-home orders, reduced public transit, school, and company closures, and decreased social connections as depicted in research by Health Data Organisation. Anxiety disorders were shown to be highly linked to higher infection rates, whereas depressive disorders were found to be more closely linked to decreased human mobility. These indicators have the greatest impact on women’s and children’s mental health as well.
Securing the Mental Health of Employees
Companies’ leaders and managers already have their hands full trying to figure out how to help their employees as they deal with the various issues the epidemic has caused to the work, but we need to go even deeper. More than 40 million individuals in the United States are thought to have a mental health issue, with 4-5 million adults classified as severely mentally ill.
We must also find innovative strategies to assist mental and emotional well being. Some businesses may be implementing new perks, while others may be hiring specialists. Consider different methods to interact and communicate with your employees, regardless of where you land on the employee offering spectrum.
The ILO advocates for more expenditure in the development of human resources, particularly for the needs of vulnerable populations such as those with mental illnesses. Mental health difficulties among employees, as well as their influence on productivity and disability/medical expenses, are major human resource issues. Employer organisations, labour unions, and government policymakers understand that the socio-economic implications of mental health issues in the organisation cannot be overlooked.
Within the tech hub, several companies are offering Web Development services in USA that target mentally vulnerable individuals. The graph above shows the rise in cases over time, particularly after the Covid-19.
Are US Laws Safeguarding Employees?
- The primary federal employment laws are: Title VII of the Civil rights act The Americans and disabilities Act
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Fair Labour Standards Act
- The Family and Medical Leave Act
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act
Despite the list of Acts mentioned above and many more to the list, there is no particular law that safeguards the mental health of employees at work. No importance has been given to employee health and has resulted in less productivity in the workplace.
Removing Barriers to Good Mental Health
Several ways can be taken to assist the employees right now which include:
Do more Listening than Talking
Employees are better guided when they are heard and taken care of. The communication gap is a major barrier that keeps the employee from becoming vocal about his/her needs at the workplace. A good employer can be more assistive if the communication gap is worked upon. The better the employer-employee relationship, the higher will be the productivity and innovation.
Keep Health a go-to Topic
Health is wealth is a common phrase but is true as it is something that can never be ignored. Moreover, the outcomes associated with it can make a human do wonders/. Therefore, health should be talked about, frequently. Companies can hold workshops and seminars that are health-related to maximise the know-how on mental health issues. This would invite more margin for employees to manage their health conditions with a balance of diet, physical activities, etc.
Providing onsite Gyms & Sports Activities at Work
Workplaces with entertainment facilities are more likely to have high productivity than those without them. Making it simpler for the employees to find time to exercise will enhance their health. Which will benefit the company financially through higher productivity. Constant job tension and irritation may reduce productivity, so providing a simple way for staff to let off steam could help the company reach its target in a better way.
Evasion of Discouragement to Improve Mental Health
The key to improving the economic and social integration of persons with mental health disorders is to break the cycle of discouragement. And remove the myriad socio-cultural barriers that hinder employment. The mental health system must be considered, as well as its impact on combating negative perceptions and pushing businesses to adopt good practices.
Allow Breaks between Work Hours
Work might feel continuous at times, and we may neglect to take a break and breathe. Encourage everyone to take days off for a vacation or provide significant mental health days or breaks during the day. Workers who take time off should be rewarded, and the tension of being away from work should never be felt.
Provide Fringe Benefits
Any benefits allowed to employees can encourage them to do better at work. Appreciation of their effort by the provision of rewards, financial assistance, discounts, vouchers, medical allowances, etc. It can make a difference in the mental state of employees.
For better performance at work and greater outcomes, an employee-eccentric approach is required. That can maximise the abilities of workers in an engaging environment.